Malik McDowell reports to camp, placed on non-football injury list

Malik McDowell 8-3

RENTON -- Defensive tackle Malik McDowell, the Seahawks' top selection in May's NFL Draft, reported to camp on Thursday after missing the first three days of camp while home in Michigan recovering from injuries sustained in a recent ATV accident.

McDowell, 21, sustained a concussion and facial laceration in the recent accident. The Seahawks have been mum on additional details up to this point as they had not had a chance to see him personally since the injuries occurred.

McDowell has been added to the active 90-man roster and placed on the team's non-football injury list. He had not previously counted against the roster as he was not with the team.

"I appreciate all the concern regarding my health," McDowell wrote in a post on Twitter on Sunday. "I just want to clear the air. I am doing well and expect to join my teammates in Seattle in the next few days. My injury is not life or career threatening as some have speculated. I am grateful for the support I have received from the Seahawks organization, my doctors and my family. You will see me back on the field in the near future."

Head coach Pete Carroll didn't seem as optimistic about that assessment on Thursday. Carroll repeatedly said "I don't know" when asked about McDowell's potential availability for the start of the regular season or even playing this year at all.

"I don't know that. I really don't," he said. "I don't know what the deal is yet.

"It's the direct information, specific information. He's getting updated from our people as well and his family. It's very disappointing and there's nothing we can do about it right now but just take the time to assess and just figure out what this all means."

Carroll did affirm that McDowell's injuries are a longer-term issue but didn't elaborate on specifics at this time regarding his injuries.

"He's doing all kinds of appointments and stuff to make sure that we know exactly what's going on," Carroll said. "They did a lot of stuff yesterday. I really don't have much to report for you but it's going to take a while to figure it out."

Placing McDowell on the active/non-football injury now preserves the possibility of using the reserve/non-football injury list for the start of the season. If McDowell is unable to pass a physical and be ready by the start of the regular season, he would be forced to miss at least the first six weeks of year before a window opens for a possible return. The list works similarly to the physically unable to perform list, which is for injuries sustained in the NFL working environment (practices, games, team facilities, etc.).

The Seahawks released long snapper Nolan Frese on Wednesday to free up a roster spot for the addition of McDowell.

Frese appeared in all 16 regular season games for Seattle before a high-ankle sprain landed him on injured reserve for the postseason. He was plagued by errant snaps at time last season, but the Seahawks stuck with him for the entirety of the year before the injury.

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